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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Irish President to Reciprocate Queen's Reconcilliation Gesture

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were welcomed to Ireland in 2011 by then President Mary McAleese.

From AFP

President Michael D. Higgins is to become the first Irish head of state to make a state visit to Britain, in another symbolic step forward for relations between the neighbouring countries. 

The visit in April will come three years after Britain's Queen Elizabeth made a groundbreaking trip to the republic, which experts said put Anglo-Irish relations on a new footing. 

Higgins's visit will be seen as a further sign of progress following the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland, which remains part of the United Kingdom. 

Higgins's Aras an Uachtarain official residence confirmed he has accepted an invitation for a three-day state visit. 

The details are yet to be fleshed out but the 72-year-old poet is expected to stay at Windsor Castle, west of London, from April 8 to 10. 

Though Higgins has visited Britain several times since taking office in November 2011, they were not official state visits, where Britain lays on the pomp and ceremony.



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